BCSC considering stop arm cameras on all routed school buses

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. is looking to install stop arm cameras on all of its routed school buses by next fall in hopes of deterring — and citing — violations.

Director of Operations Brett Boezeman, Transportation Manager AJ McKeand and Sgt. Julie Quesenbery discussed the matter at Monday’s school board meeting.

School officials said that 12 out of BCSC’s 120 school buses already have stop arm cameras. Under the initiative, the other 108 would see those cameras installed, along with other upgrades such as higher video quality and installation of dash cameras as needed. McKeand said that the price of the system for the upgrade is around $300,000, and the funding request will be made at a later date.

The project comes about five months after the death of 16-year-old Columbus East High School student Lily J. Streeval on Aug. 30, 2021. Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian, 25, was arrested following Lily’s death. He is accused of attempting to drive around a stopped school bus with warning lights flashing and arm signal extended. The victim was struck as she was attempting to board the bus, according to court documents.

Formal charges filed against the defendant include leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury, a Level 4 felony, and passing a school bus when arm signal is extended causing death, a Level 5 felony.

In Indiana, it is illegal for motorists to pass a bus that is stopped, with red lights flashing and the stop arm extended.

This applies on all roads, with the exception of motorists who are on a highway divided by a barrier, such as a cable barrier, concrete wall or grassy median — those drivers only have to stop if traveling in the same direction as the school bus.

For the complete story, see Wednesday’s Republic.